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HISTORY OF HILLSDALE COLLEGE

BY HON. JOHN C. PATTERSON, 1883

During the years in which Hon. Isaac E. Crary and Hon. John" D. Pierce at Marshall in the province of statesmanship were agitating and perfecting the plan of our State public school system, laying its foundation broad and deep, to be crowned by our great university, Samuel Whitcomb and Elijah Cook, Jr., the cotemporaries, near neighbors and personal friends of Crary and Pierce, on Cook's Prairie, ten miles away, were agitating and perfecting a plan and laying its foundations broad and deep. for a denominational school in the domain of church polity. Elder Samuel Whitcomb was the first to bring the subject of a denominational school before the churches and conferences, and was the pioneer advocate of the cause. Elder Cook pushed the matter with all his power and rendered it great service. Had his sentiments on the subject of education been expressed in verse and set to music, his song would have been quite as powerful in the cause as the appeals of his more eloquent co-worker. Elder Limbocker publicly and privately urged the necessity of an educated ministry, and advocated a denominational school to provide the means for securing that end. His earnest eloquence and forcible arguments contributed greatly toward preparing the way for definite action. The churches were few, the members poor, and not many could be reached by the denominational press. We must remember that public sentiment in Michigan forty-five years ago was not moulded by our present public schools and our numerous denominational institutions now in successful operation. The necessity and benefits of such a college were not fully appreciated by the masses, and required discussion before action. Up to the year 1844, the public discussion of the educational movement in the denomination in Michigan was for the most part conducted by Elders Whitcomb, Cook, and Limbocker, and to some extent by Elder Ellwood. The agitation had been mostly confined to the churches coming under their personal ministration, in Calhoun, Jackson, and adjacent counties.

EARLY MICHIGAN


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